Robert Spencer, skewerer of PC-isms about Islam, its history, theology, and relationship with others, is back again. This time he targets the biggest myth of all, that Islam is a religion of peace. This is a myth that is perpetuated by such public figures as President Bush and Tony Blair. It forms part of the effort to claim that Islamists are some aberration that have nothing to do with Islam and its teachings. Like much of what is said about Islam this stems from ignorance, naiveté, and probably a dose of unwillingness to admit the truth.
The irony, of course, is that the words of Mohammed are there for anyone to see. Unlike Christianity or Judaism, whose sacred books were written down by those other than those whose words are quoted, the Koran is in fact the actual words of the man himself. Unlike the New Testament which is made up of transcribed oral histories of what Jesus did and said, all written decades after his death, the words in the Koran are those words “dictated” by Mohammad himself, if you so believe.
There are many Sunnah that dictate exactly what is to be done with unbelievers (ie kill them, tax/humiliate/enslave them or convert them) with especial emphasis on how to treat Jews, whom Mohammed spent some time slaughtering in his day. The New and Old Testaments have none such evocations, being merely a collection of parables about actual events that took place in biblical times. In fact Jesus repeatedly makes it clear that we should “turn the other cheek”.
The mistake that those trying to compare Christianity/Judaism and Islam make is they see all violence as equal in holy books. They mistake violence as told in a tale as the same as invocation to commit violence among believers. Yes, institutions of the Church have committed heinous crimes in the name of their Church; however Muslims have been committing similar and far worse crimes in the name of their religion. Spencer points out that more Jews were killed in a single massacre in Muslim-held Spain than were killed by the Inquisition in its entire history.